The British Empire and the Second World War
In 1939 Hitler went to war not just with Great Britain; he also went to war with the whole of the British Empire, the greatest empire that there had ever been. In the years since 1945 that empire has disappeared, and the crucial fact that the British Empire fought together as a whole during the war has been forgotten. All the parts of the empire joined the struggle and were involved in it from the beginning, undergoing huge changes and sometimes suffering great losses as a result. The war in the desert, the defence of Malta and the Malayan campaign, and the contribution of the empire as a whole in terms of supplies, communications and troops, all reflect the strategic importance of Britain's imperial status. Men and women not only from Australia, New Zealand and India but from many parts of Africa and the Middle East all played their part. Winston Churchill saw the war throughout in imperial terms. The British Empire and the Second World War emphasises a central fact about the Second World War that is often forgotten.
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Journeying east from the Malay peninsula, significant British strategic and
economic interests had come to roost in the giant island of Borneo. Here the
British had carved out the colony of British North Borneo and put down
commercial roots, ...
Japanese landed more and more troops along the coast and forced the
defenders further towards central Borneo. Eventually the commanding officer
decided that his force's best contribution would be to try and escape to Java to
rejoin any ...
The people of the territories of British Borneo, prisoner and native, endured three
years of Japanese occupation. A small number of civil servants were recalled to
continue their work in the administration, the treasury and other essential ...
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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